A Surprise Around Every Bend
Hiking is an ideal way to explore the varied terrain and diverse wildlife in Tucson and Southern Arizona. You'll find urban recreational trails, bird-watching trails, canyon trails, summit trails, flat trails, and steep climbs that delight and challenge, whether you're new to exploring nature or are an avid outdoor adventure-seeker.
Hiking Near Tucson
Tucson is nearly surrounded by five mountain ranges, most of which are protected as city and state parks, national forest, or national park. Within these public areas are hundreds of miles of trails offering hikers of all skill levels convenient access to unspoiled beauty. Landscapes range from cacti-covered hills to pine-topped mountains, making hiking an option for every season.Santa Catalina Mountains >> (north side)
Rincon Mountains >> (east side)
Santa Rita Mountains >> (south side)
Tucson Mountains >> (west side)
Tortolita Mountains >> (northwest side)
Tucson Urban Loop >>
The Loop is 55-miles of car-free paths being developed around Tucson, with links to Marana and Oro Valley. It's great for foot-traffic, bicycles, skates and horses. If it doesn't have an engine, it's good to go on The Loop.
Rillito River Park Trail >>
This 11-mile trail winds through the city along the Rillito Riverbed from North Craycroft Road nearly to Interstate 10. Access is available at numerous points along the way.
Santa Cruz River Park Trail >>
Located along the banks of the Santa Cruz Riverbed, west of downtown Tucson, this flat, paved trail runs south from Grant Road to 29th Street. The trail includes a portion of the Anza National Historic Trail.
Southern Arizona covers the northern part of the Sonoran Desert and the northwestern tip of the Chihuahuan Desert. This area extends from Picacho Peak, south to the Mexican border, west to Ajo, and east to the New Mexico state border. South of the Tucson area, the Chiricahua Mountains, Huachuca Mountains, and Dragoon Mountains are a few ranges offering fine hiking trails in Southern Arizona.
Helpful Links & Resources
Desert Safety Tips
Permits & Maps
Stop by a hiking-camping supply store to purchase a map or hiking guide or to contact local hiking groups and organizations for suggestions. The Summit Hut and Southern Arizona Hiking Club are good places to start.